News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Brain Tumour Support New Zealand

A group committed to supporting people living with brain tumours and their families has launched Brain Tumour Support NZ. All the founders have either been diagnosed with a brain tumour themselves or have a partner or close friend diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Northland sleep physiologist Gavin Starling is one of the founders. His partner Natalie was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme in August 2017, and it wasn’t long before Natalie began to feel isolated and alone. She often relied on overseas websites for support and information.

“Not having easy access to support and information was an additional burden while Natalie was going through treatment,” Gavin said. Sadly, Natalie lost her battle in March 2018. “I felt compelled to help others and raise awareness about brain tumours, so other families don’t have to go through what Natalie and I experienced.”

Serendipitously, in October 2018, Gavin contacted Chris Tse, an International Brain Tumour Alliance (IBTA) senior advisor, around the same time that Mandy Bathan also approached Chris.

Gavin was seeking resources to prepare a display for Whangarei Hospital Outpatients Department to coincide with the annual IBTA awareness week. He was shocked at the scarcity of information and resources available in New Zealand. Chris’s wife, Lynda, is a long-term survivor of Glioblastoma Multiforme. When Lynda was diagnosed in 2006, Chris too was appalled at the lack of treatment options for brain tumour patients in New Zealand.

Mandy reached out to Chris after her own experience of the disease. She was working as a primary school teacher when she found out she had an Oligodendroglioma in October 2017.

“I found myself disappearing down a rabbit hole of various overseas websites, blogs and social media posts for information about brain tumours,” Mandy said. “Some of the information I found was helpful, but much of it was irrelevant and didn’t reflect the everyday experience of Kiwis living with a brain tumour.”

Mandy contacted Chris with the idea of setting up a charity that would support brain tumour patients and their families. They began to recruit others – including Gavin – who could help. In 2019, they founded the Brain Tumour Support Trust. The Trust is committed to the vision that everyone living with a brain tumour has the support, information and access to best treatments, so they feel less afraid, less alone and more empowered.

Gavin considers himself fortunate to have been offered a role as a trustee. “Our mission is to inform, support and advocate for New Zealand brain tumour patients, their family/whānau, and friends,” Gavin said. “Having lived alongside Natalie and supported her throughout her journey, I understand what it’s like. Being a trustee means that Natalie’s experience and mine can be harnessed to provide meaningful support for others.”

Brain cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in people under 40. A brain tumour diagnosis may bring with it the double impact of a cancer diagnosis and a progressively debilitating neurological disease.

Brain Tumour Support NZ will help people live life with a brain tumour, and their support is available to everybody affected by any type of brain tumour and their whānau. Given its charitable status, the Trust relies heavily on donations to enable it to provide support, information and advocacy.

To donate, fundraise or for further information visit:

www.braintumoursupport.org.nz or email hi@braintumoursupport.org.nz

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>


Howard Davis: Benjamin Ree's The Painter and The Thief

The Norwegian filmmaker had long been fascinated by art thieves who commit high-stakes crimes with a delicate touch when a chance Google search in 2015 uncovered a botched heist in Oslo. More>>


Howard Davis: Anna Coddington Beams

Anna Coddington's thin, wispy vocals fit her songs beautifully, providing a wonderful lilting quality that pervades her latest album, producing instant ear worms. More>>


Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>


Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Friend Ship Tour Docks in Wellington

A sense of local pride was certainly running high at the Opera House on Saturday night, as the lads ran through a tasty little set drawn mostly from their latest album Friend Ship (splash out for Xmas on the shocking pink extra-thick vinyl edition). More>>


Howard Davis: Avantdale Bowling Club

Auckland rapper and MC Tom Scott brought his stunning jazz-infused Taite Music Prize-winning project Avantdale Bowling Club to the Opera House headlining Wellington's 2020 Jazz Festival. More>>

Howard Davis: Troy Kingi Rules The San Fran

The award-winning Northland musician performed songs from his new record The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, the fourth installment in his 10/10/10 series - ten albums in ten years in ten genres. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland